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Cicada Serenade:
The Hat, the Cat, and the Texas Entomorph

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Introducing Sheriff Johnson

Name: Jack “Sheriff” Johnson Age: 57 Occupation: Sheriff of Rio Rancho County, Texas

Background: Jack Johnson, or “Sheriff Jack” as the county residents know him, is a seasoned police veteran with over 30 years’ experience in law enforcement. He began his career as a patrol officer in the Dallas Police Department before working his way up to detective and eventually becoming a member of the department’s elite SWAT team.

In his big-city career, Sheriff Johnson has been involved in high-speed chases, shootouts, and has dealt with some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. Despite the dangers and job stress, he always maintained a focused and level-headed approach to his work, earning him the respect of both his fellow officers and the community.

After decades of big-city policing, Johnson began feeling the pull of a simpler life. He longed to decompress and to trade the pressure of the city for the peaceful tranquility of rural life. So, he retired from the Dallas PD a couple of years prior, seeking to spend his remaining years as a small-town sheriff.

He quickly found the ideal opportunity. Rio Rancho County, a rural Texas county that needed a new leader.

The county’s influx of new residents from other states has brought a rising crime rate, and the previous sheriff found himself more interested in retiring than facing the newly aggressive criminal element.

The County Board feared Johnson was over-qualified, believing he would become bored and leave. They were slow to understand his desire to move from the vibrant big city to their sleepy small town. Without quite understanding why, Jack found himself pitching his talents to a skeptical audience. However, eventually, they recognized in Johnson the perfect candidate for the job, and they were right.

Sheriff Johnson settled in Rio Rancho County and immediately went to work. Of course, he did the usual stuff, set up neighborhood watch programs, introduced new policies and highly efficient police procedures, but he also worked closely with the community to gain their trust and cooperation. He held weekly town hall meetings to hear the concerns of the residents and implemented highly visible and proactive programs such as the neighborhood watch groups to show the community that he meant business when he said he intended to keep them safe.

He also saw that word got around among the petty thieves and drug dealers, that they would do well to move their operations elsewhere. It took a few months of aggressive police work, and the abrupt removal of two officers with secret ties to local drug and bootleg liquor operations.

Johnson policed with a heavy hand, but remained fair and professional. He worked endless 16-hour days and hundred hour weeks. For months, he kept a cot in the office and slept there, when he slept at all, and his efforts gradually gained traction. With the corrupt cops gone, and harsh, determined prosecution making examples of the felons they arrested, the professional criminals soon went searching for a more favorable locale, while the local petty thieves and miscreants opted to remain on their best behavior around town.

Through his efforts, crime rates in Rio Rancho County plummeted, and the community has once again become a safe place to live and raise a family. The ranchers and town-folk alike trust and respect Sheriff Johnson, and they know he has their best interests at heart.

Personality: Sheriff Johnson is no-nonsense, straightforward, and a never-married, confirmed bachelor who keeps his personal life private. In fact, if he has a personal life, no one seems aware of it. When speaking as Sheriff, his words are eloquent, scholarly, and persuasive, but otherwise, he is a man of few words, taciturn almost to a fault, although always willing to lend an ear to anyone who needs it.

He is fair but firm, and he expects the same from his officers. He is also a man of integrity and places the safety and well-being of the community paramount.

Skills:

  • 30+ years of law enforcement experience

  • Expertise in criminal investigations and crime scene analysis

  • Skilled in firearms and hand-to-hand combat

  • Excellent leadership and management skills

  • Strong public speaking and community relations abilities

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Texas State University

  • Graduate of the FBI National Academy

Certifications:

  • Texas Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)

  • Advanced SWAT Training

  • Advanced Crime Scene Investigation

Awards and Honors:

  • Meritorious Service Award (Dallas PD)

  • Officer of the Year (Dallas PD)

  • Outstanding Community Service Award (Rio Rancho County)

Sheriff Johnson is the perfect person to serve as the Sheriff of Rio Rancho County, with the experience, skills, and outstanding dedication such a job demands. He is a respected leader who has earned the trust of the residents and has a proven track record of reducing crime and keeping the community safe. He is a true asset to Rio Rancho County and intends to continue serving and protecting the residents for many years to come.

However, in recent years a passionate young criminologist has entered his orbit. He is quite taken with her, but refuses her overtures because of their age difference. Unlike her, he sees the gap as an insurmountable barrier to intimacy.

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